From the perspective of inter-regionalism, the Regional Integration Program this year will examine the discourse on peace-building efforts by non-state actors through inter-regional alliances, and its examples. In 2018, there were active discussions on peace-building endeavors through inter-regional alliances on peace issues that states can hardly address. Thus far, academia was in charge of the peace discourse, and central governments took the role of planning and putting peace into practice, while local communities, cities and provinces somehow neglected peace issues. However, over the recent 10 years, local communities have actively engaged in alliances for peace amid rising calls in international society for local governments to play a more active role to address global issues. For instance, the advisory committee of the UN Human Rights Council adopted in 2015 a report on the role of local government in the promotion and protection of human rights, asking for the commitment of local governments to the protection of human rights. Academia is also making increasing efforts to come up with city- and local community-based political discourse.
The Regional Integration Program confirmed in 2018 that inter-regional cooperation based on inter-regionalism can make more productive results when a local community ties up with other regions and makes the most of their political, economic, social and cultural commonalities and common interests. Following up on the results, the 2019 research project will suggest regionalism and inter-regionalism as theoretical bases for a consensus on the peace discourse, and on top of this, will examine peace-building discourse and practices based on the inter-regional alliances of non-state actors. The results of theoretical and empirical studies accumulated by this research are expected not only to make an academic contribution but also to serve as a reference for government policies and strategies on peace issues.